I am going to give a recipe, but really, this is more of a technique post. But not even technique, as much as a get bang for your buck post.
Recently, Jackie and I went out for a rare night on the town. Fancy Schmancy. Whenever I get a chance, I will always order an artisan cheese plate. Some places offer one for an appetizer course, salad course or dessert course. Doesn’t matter, I will order one. I would rather have a fancy cheese plate than just about anything else offered for those courses.
This is the cheese plate I received. Sadly, the cheeses change every night, so the menu does not list them. I was enjoying the night out, and did not make notes when the cheeses were explained, but I know there was a goat, a cheddar and something from Switzerland (but it was not swiss cheese). They were all excellent. And a real bargain, as there was so much, I took at least half home, knowing I would be having macaroni and cheese for lunch!
Dave here from MY YEAR ON THE GRILL. I have over 400 posts up in my blogging career. But I have never done a Mac and cheese post but I make one at least a couple times a month. My problem is I view mac and cheese as a left over dish. It is never the same ingredients, never the same recipe twice, but always satisfying … I CAN COOK THAT! Anyone can!!! And anyone can make a winner…
There really is not much of a recipe, other than cheese coating macaroni. But there are a few things I do to kick it up a notch…
First I make a rough…3 TBS Butter, 3 TBS Flour
I stir the rough for about 5 minutes under medium low heat.
I dice up a small red onion and add it to the rough.
I add a cup of milk.
now it’s time to add the cheese. Always best to only add a soft easy melting cheese. Avoid the hard cheeses. They just don’t melt well.
But the goat, cheddar and not swiss cheeses all melted perfect!
I considered doing a snooty post labeling this Artisan Three Cheese Mac and Cheese. Doesn’t that sound fancy? But truth is I only had enough of each to make about 6 ounces total cheese. If I had 6 ounces of one cheese, I probably would have used only one cheese.
BUT, I had two ounces of three cheeses, so here is my Artisan Three Cheese Mac and Cheese… Just like I planned.
OK, cook the Macaroni al dente. Meaning, just cook to barely done, still a little tough. I like using shells for the pasta, I think they hold the cheese better and just make a more dynamic presentation. Elbow or Penni pasta works as well (or whatever you have in the pantry. I have even made this with spaghetti).
Mix the cheese sauce and the Macaroni and pour into a baking dish.
I like to add some seasoned panko bread crumbs on the top for color and texture.
Bake at 350 degree pre-heated oven for 30 minutes…
It’s just a way to use left overs. You can change the cheese and have a dramatically different dish. Change the pasta and it;s a different look.
But bottom line… it’s always good!
Next time you get to go to a Fancy Schmancy restaurant… Order the cheese tray and plan on lunch tomorrow. Takes a little of the bite of the cost of the meal out.